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The Rise Of Alao-Akala: A Testament to Providential Destiny | Wadud Raji Wadraj


Life took a gloomy start for the young Bayo Alao, who lost his Father on the 13th day of September 1952, barely 3 months after he celebrated his second birthday anniversary. With uncertainty of what the future had in store for the youngster; his sun of infancy was allowed to set under the caring watch of his Late Grandmother, Mama Subulada Asabi Otunla, popularly called Iya Alaro.

Iya Alaro aided him through the hurdles of early life unscathed. Not only did she nurture his kind disposition but also, she was consistently a supportive guard on every step he took from the bottom rung of the ladder to the enviable top.

With neither an access to a silver spoon nor the chance to achieve anything on the proverbial platter of gold; Bayo, blessed with prudent foresight from his formative years, projected that the task of turning his life around would require a great deal of hard work. His persistent drive to succeed saw him through many menial jobs, and for a brief spell; he worked as an apprentice in a mechanic workshop.

He owes his Uncle a plethora of unreserved gratitude for influencing his love for the Police Force. To forge ahead with his studies; Bayo had gone to Ghana with his Uncle who was enlisted in The West African Frontier Force in late 60s. Ironing his Uncle’s Army uniform during his stay with him was all that prompted his exceeding love for uniform-wearing professions, as he became enamoured with the idea of accepting any job offer that would grant him the privilege to be clad in uniform.

Soon, opportunity presented itself. The Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria Defence Academy were scheduled to organize their final recruitment process for new intakes on the same day. He was entangled in the middle of two choices – which should he go for – the highly reputable Defence Academy or the equally esteemed Police Force? Though a staunch Baptist, he must have recited his favorite Quranic verse, Idinna Siratal Mustaqim: “Guide me on the right path, O Lord” on countless occasions before enlisting as Cadet Inspector in the Nigeria Police Force – a decision he has never regretted. 

His remarkable stint as a Police Officer took him through many high profile assignments in various capacities before he retired as Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Supply in 1995. Over the years, Alao-Akala maintained a stellar academic trait as he was consistently among the class toppers in all institutions of training he passed through.

However, It was in 1998 that reality was asserted on his dream to serve humanity at a capacity where more lives could be touched, as he was elected Chairman of Ogbosomo North Local Government on the platform of APP – a relatively unknown party in the southwestern part of the country but within a short while, his name became etched in the heart of many as an altruist leader with innate ability to proffer solutions to seemingly intractable obstacles.

The unprecedented popularity and goodwill he enjoyed at the Local Government level caught the fancy of the late strongman of Oyo State politics, Baba Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu who was shopping for a running mate to team up with Senator Rashidi Ladoja who had just won PDP primaries to contest the 2003 gubernatorial election in the state. 

Alao-Akala was in Eruwa for a political rally when Adedibu in his usual chatty mood approached him that he would love both of them to instantly embark on a journey to Abuja. Akala promptly asked: ”Baba what are we going for?” “You will find out when we get there,” Adedibu retorted. It was on this unexpected trip to Abuja that agreement and forms which established his candidature as running mate were finalized. Indeed, great things happen out of nowhere!

His party was victorious in the 2003 Guber elections. Himself was later sworn in as Governor of the State after he won a keenly contested election in 2007; and he presided over the most people-centered government that Oyo State ever witnessed. Rural electrification and construction of roads were some of the sectors that quickly received attention. Famed for his nativity, Otunba Alao-Akala only awarded contracts to competent indigenous contractors, thereby ensuring the people of the state were the top beneficiaries of her wealth. Salaries were paid without hiatus and welfarism of the populace was at the very heart of his administration.

To this day, his name is synonymous with kindness. Destiny walked him to lofty heights despite his humble background, and to appreciate providence; he has stopped at nothing in serving humanity.

Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has distinguished himself as a resolute advocate of good governance in high and low places. Now seeking to be elected as the Governor of Oyo State in 2019 on the platform of Action Democratic Party (ADP), it is a truism that no co-contestant can boast of his enviable pedigree. Owing to his longstanding experience, moral endowments and impeccable leadership credentials; he is well equipped to ease the path of the state into a prosperous future.

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